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I rarely use PayPal so I'm not familiar with it but last month I used it to pay for a service to a person that asked me specifically to use PayPal selecting the "pay family and friends" option, so that he doesn't have to pay the fees. I was really naive and trusted him, I didn't think it was a problem. Eventually I found out it was a scam, as this person disappeared with the money without providing the service. I contacted PayPal customer service and they said that since I've selected the "pay family and friends" option I'm not eligible for a refund and I cannot even open a dispute and that there's nothing they can do about it. PayPal customer service also said that since I've linked my bank account to PayPal the only option available was to call my bank and tell them to open a dispute with PayPal, I then called my bank but the bank said that it should be PayPal dealing with it and that they can't help me. I just can't believe that the scammer gets away with it and the victims are left with no help. I understand that it was my mistake too but I feel like that PayPal should give more option to people that are victims of scams and frauds, at least to investigate on the case. I already reported everything to the authorities but they can't help me in getting my money back so basically I just lost them and that's it. Is there someone that had the same experience?
A friends / family (or gift payment) is intended as a transfer of funds from family or friends to one another. For this reason, there is no processing fee when payment is made with bank or PayPal balance.
However as it is a gift payment, there is also no Buyer protection as no goods or services should have been exchanged.
If he was not a close mate or family member you should never use that option as it enables the seller to evade paying his paypal fees and negates your buyer protection at the same time.
You would also not be able to open a dispute apart from one citing an unauthorised transaction but that would be automatically closed as you did authorise the initial payment.
Be careful as using that option for purchasing goods is against Paypal rules and can lead to account limitation.
If you funded your paypal payment via a credit card then contact your card issuer and see if they will help you but unfortunately they may decline as well as it was a gift payment.